Friday, November 25, 2016

7th grade. Check.

Today is officially our last day of 7th grade. Lu will still need a few more days to finish his final project - a compare/contrast essay about the American, French and Russian revolutions. But other than that, we are D O N E.

This was our sixth year homeschooling. Every year I seem to blog a little less. Our academic activities/projects are less and less photo-worthy, and they also take a lot longer, so there's not as much variety. It's a lot less taking nature walks, and a lot more trying to wrap our heads around algebra and chemistry. We also recently got chickens and started a vegetable garden, so our little farm is growing and giving us more work.

Tinich is undecided on the chickens.
And maybe a little jealous :)

But really, this year, I haven't written as much because it's been a difficult year. So difficult, I sent Lu to public school for a few months. Hormones and attitudes were raging, and it felt like I had to learn (in about one second) how to be the mother of a teenager who took the place of my baby boy from one day to the next. Well. It was a bumpy ride, but it was one of much growth. 

We've learned so much about love, patience, acceptance, respect, and communication.

These last months, since returning to homeschooling, our objectives have been more about creating harmony in our day-to-day, our home, our family, and ourselves. Academics took a backseat, but we still covered our 7th grade bases. 

We studied a little chemistry with different online resources like these videos - and this site -

Lu completed this workbook that I found in an old box of books from when my mom was a teacher in the 80's, dated but clear and thorough, and something Lu could do on his own, while out with the goats.

We got halfway through our algebra course and then circled back to review. We'll do the other half next year.

(I had no idea how to do this a year ago. lol)

Lu mostly does art through the after-school program we run from our house two afternoons a week, but sometimes we do art on our own.

 Here's Lu with the other kids from the program, performing with the "diabolo" in their circus show.

We did lots of creative writing over the last couple of months. Lu remains very passionate about cooking and playing the guitar. We do yoga, go swimming, and dance regularly. We used this list of 100 words for spelling and vocab - and got quick at finding words in an actual, for real dictionary. But WHY MOM? He argued that it was ridiculous when we have online dictionaries. I insisted, and he later actually confessed that he enjoyed looking up the words. Like, he really actually said it was "fun". So, see, you never know. 
Try it, it might work. 

(I need to go look up synonyms for "actual and actually" lol)

Besides our regular viewing of (lots of) history and science documentaries, we also watched movies about growing up, life and its difficulties, freedom, passion, compassion, love, loss... and I'm recording them as school activities because I think we learn a lot from the right movies at the right time. Here's the list, in the order we watched them:

Whale Rider
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Outsiders
Earth to Echo
The Color Purple
Little Big Man
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
O Brother, Where Art Thou
Dead Poets Society
Les Miserables

So, it's vacation time :happydance: !!! And, despite goats, chickens and adolescence, we had a productive homeschool year.

See you in January, when we embark on our 8th grade adventure, and start preparing for high school!

***If you're struggling with a just-turned-teen, don't worry, you'll get the hang of it. Just remember to breathe and try not to take it personally (that's the hardest part). Good luck!